|President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic |
Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri della Repubblica Italiana
Flag of the President of the Council of Ministers
Seal of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers
|Style|| President (reference and spoken)|
Premier (reference, informal)
His Excellency (diplomatic, outside Italy)
|Member of|| Government |
|Appointer||President of the Republic|
|Term length||No term limit |
The Prime Minister's term of office ends when the Parliament withdraws its confidence to the Cabinet or in case of resignation
|Inaugural holder||Camillo Benso di Cavour|
|Formation||17 March 1861|
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
The President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic(Italian: Presidente del Consiglio dei ministri della Repubblica Italiana), commonly referred to in Italy as Presidente del Consiglio, or informally as Premier and known in English as the Prime Minister of Italy, is the head of government of the Italian Republic. The office of Prime Minister is established by Articles 92 through to 96 of the Constitution of Italy. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President of the Republic after each general election and must have the confidence of the Italian Parliament to stay in office.
Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian, together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to Vulgar Latin of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. In spite of not existing any Italian community in their respective national territories and of not being spoken at any level, Italian is included de jure, but not de facto, between the recognized minority languages of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Romania. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both standardized Italian and other regional languages.
English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. It is named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that later took their name, as England. Both names derive from Anglia, a peninsula in the Baltic Sea. The language is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse, and to a greater extent by Latin and French.
Head of government is a generic term used for either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, who often presides over a cabinet, a group of ministers or secretaries who lead executive departments. The term "head of government" is often differentiated from the term "head of state", as they may be separate positions, individuals, or roles depending on the country.
Prior to the establishment of the Italian Republic, the position was called President of the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of Italy (Presidente del Consiglio dei ministri del Regno d'Italia). From 1925 to 1943 during the Fascist regime, the position was transformed into the dictatorial position of Head of the Government, Prime Minister, Secretary of State(Capo del Governo, primo ministro, segretario di Stato) held by Benito Mussolini, Duce of Fascism, who officially governed on the behalf of the King of Italy. King Victor Emmanuel III removed Mussolini from office in 1943 and the position was restored with Marshal Pietro Badoglio becoming Prime Minister in 1943. Alcide De Gasperi became the first Prime Minister of the Italian Republic in 1946.
Italian Fascism, also known as Classical Fascism or simply Fascism, is the original fascist ideology as developed in Italy. The ideology is associated with a series of three political parties led by Benito Mussolini, namely the Fascist Revolutionary Party (PFR) founded in 1915, the succeeding National Fascist Party (PNF) which was renamed at the Third Fascist Congress on 7–10 November 1921 and ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943 and the Republican Fascist Party that ruled the Italian Social Republic from 1943 to 1945. Italian Fascism is also associated with the post-war Italian Social Movement and subsequent Italian neo-fascist movements.
A dictatorship is an authoritarian form of government, characterized by a single leader or group of leaders with either no party or a weak party, little mass mobilization, and limited political pluralism. According to other definitions, democracies are regimes in which "those who govern are selected through contested elections"; therefore dictatorships are "not democracies". With the advent of the 19th and 20th centuries, dictatorships and constitutional democracies emerged as the world's two major forms of government, gradually eliminating monarchies, one of the traditional widespread forms of government of the time. Typically, in a dictatorial regime, the leader of the country is identified with the title of dictator, although their formal title may more closely resemble something similar to "leader". A common aspect that characterized dictators is taking advantage of their strong personality, usually by suppressing freedom of thought and speech of the masses, in order to maintain complete political and social supremacy and stability. Dictatorships and totalitarian societies generally employ political propaganda to decrease the influence of proponents of alternative governing systems.
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician and journalist who was the leader of the National Fascist Party. He ruled Italy as Prime Minister from 1922 to 1943; he constitutionally led the country until 1925, when he dropped the pretense of democracy and established a dictatorship.
The Prime Minister is the President of the Council of Ministers which holds executive power and the position is similar to those in most other parliamentary systems. The formal Italian order of precedence lists the office as being ceremonially the fourth most important Italian state office.
A parliamentary system is a system of democratic governance of a state where the executive derives its democratic legitimacy from its ability to command the confidence of the legislature, typically a parliament, and is also held accountable to that parliament. In a parliamentary system, the head of state is usually a person distinct from the head of government. This is in contrast to a presidential system, where the head of state often is also the head of government and, most importantly, the executive does not derive its democratic legitimacy from the legislature.
The Italian order of precedence is fixed by Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers (D.P.C.M.) of April 14, 2006 and of April 16, 2008. It is a hierarchy of officials in the Italian Republic used to direct protocol. The President, being head of state, is first, however the Prime Minister, the head of government, is fourth.
As the President of the Council of Ministers, the modern Prime Minister leads the Cabinet (the Council of Ministers). In addition, the Prime Minister often leads a major political party and is required by the Constitution to have the confidence of the majority of the voting members of the Parliament.
The Constitution of the Italian Republic was enacted by the Constituent Assembly on 22 December 1947, with 453 votes in favour and 62 against. The text, which has since been amended 15 times, was promulgated in the extraordinary edition of Gazzetta Ufficiale No. 298 on 27 December 1947. The Constituent Assembly was elected by universal suffrage on 2 June 1946, at the same time as a referendum on the abolition of the monarchy. The Constitution came into force on 1 January 1948, one century after the Statuto Albertino had been enacted. Although the latter remained in force after Benito Mussolini's March on Rome in 1922, it had become devoid of substantive value.
The Italian Parliament is the national parliament of the Italian Republic. The Parliament is the representative body of Italian citizens and is the successor to the Parliament of the Kingdom of Sardinia (1848–1861) and the Parliament of the Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946). It is a bicameral legislature with 945 elected members and a small number of unelected members (parlamentari). It is composed of the Chamber of Deputies, with 630 members (deputati) elected on a national basis, and the Senate of the Republic, with 315 members (senatori) elected on a regional basis, plus a small number of senators for life, either appointed or ex officio. The two houses are independent from one another and never meet jointly except under circumstances specified by the Constitution.
In addition to powers inherent in being a member of the Cabinet, the Prime Minister holds specific powers, most notably being able to nominate a list of Cabinet ministers to be appointed by the President of the Republic and the countersigning of all legislative instruments having the force of law that are signed by the President of the Republic.
Article 95 of the Italian constitution provides that the Prime Minister "directs and coordinates the activity of the ministers". This power has been used to a quite variable extent in the history of the Italian state as it is strongly influenced by the political strength of individual ministers and thus by the parties they represent.
In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era, Phoenicians and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy. The Italic tribe of the Latins formed the city of Rome as a Kingdom, which eventually became a Republic that united Italy by the third century BCE and emerged as the dominant power in the entire Mediterranean Basin. In 27 BCE, Augustus established the Roman Empire and inaugurated the Pax Romana, two centuries of stability and relative peace in which Italy flourished as the leading political and economic centre of the known world.
The Prime Minister's activity has often consisted of mediating between the various parties in the majority coalition, rather than directing the activity of the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister's supervisory power is further limited by the lack of any formal authority to fire ministers, although a Cabinet reshuffle (rimpasto) or sometimes even an individual vote of no confidence on the part of Parliament may in practice provide a surrogate measure.
A motion of no-confidence, alternatively vote of no confidence, or (unsuccessful) confidence motion, is a statement or vote which states that a person in a position of responsibility is no longer deemed fit to hold that position, perhaps because they are inadequate in some respect, are failing to carry out obligations, or are making decisions that other members feel detrimental. As a parliamentary motion, it demonstrates to the head of state that the elected parliament no longer has confidence in the appointed government. If a no confidence motion is passed against an individual minister they have to give their resignation along with the entire council of ministers.
The office was first established in 1848 in Italy's predecessor state, the Kingdom of Sardinia—although it was not mentioned in its constitution, the Albertine Statute. From 1848 to 1861, ten Prime Ministers governed the Kingdom, most of them being right-wing politicians.
After the unification of Italy and the establishment of the kingdom, the procedure did not change. In fact, the candidate for office was appointed by the King and presided over a very unstable political system. The first Prime Minister was Camillo Benso di Cavour, who was appointed on 23 March 1861, but he died on 6 June the same year. From 1861 to 1911, Historical Right and Historical Left Prime Ministers alternatively governed the country.
One of the most famous and influential Prime Ministers of this period was Francesco Crispi, a left-wing patriot and statesman, the first head of the government from Southern Italy. He led the country for six years from 1887 until 1891 and again from 1893 until 1896. Crispi was internationally famous and often mentioned along with world statesmen such as Otto von Bismarck, William Ewart Gladstone and Salisbury.
Originally an enlightened Italian patriot and democrat liberal, Crispi went on to become a bellicose authoritarian Prime Minister, ally and admirer of Bismarck. His career ended amid controversy and failure due to becoming involved in a major banking scandal and subsequently fell from power in 1896 after a devastating colonial defeat in Ethiopia. He is often seen as a precursor of the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
In 1892, Giovanni Giolitti, a young leftist politician, was appointed Prime Minister by King Umberto I, but after less than a year he was forced to resign and Crispi returned to power. In 1903, he was appointed again head of the government after a period of instability. Giolitti was Prime Minister five times between 1892 and 1921 and the second-longest serving Prime Minister in Italian history.
Giolitti was a master in the political art of trasformismo , the method of making a flexible, fluid centrist coalition in Parliament which sought to isolate the extremes of the left and the right in Italian politics. Under his influence, the Italian Liberals did not develop as a structured party. They were instead a series of informal personal groupings with no formal links to political constituencies.
The period between the start of the 20th century and the start of World War I, when he was Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior from 1901 to 1914 with only brief interruptions, is often called the Giolittian Era.A left-wing liberal with strong ethical concerns, Giolitti's periods in office were notable for the passage of a wide range of progressive social reforms which improved the living standards of ordinary Italians, together with the enactment of several policies of government intervention.
Besides putting in place several tariffs, subsidies and government projects, Giolitti also nationalized the private telephone and railroad operators. Liberal proponents of free trade criticized the "Giolittian System", although Giolitti himself saw the development of the national economy as essential in the production of wealth.
The Italian Prime Minister presided over a very unstable political system as in its first sixty years of existence (1861–1921) Italy changed its head of the government 37 times.
Regarding this situation, the first goal of Benito Mussolini, appointed in 1922, was to abolish the Parliament's ability to put him to a vote of no confidence, basing his power on the will of the King and the National Fascist Party alone. After destroying all political opposition through his secret police and outlawing labor strikes,Mussolini and his Fascist followers consolidated their power through a series of laws that transformed the nation into a one-party dictatorship. Within five years, he had established dictatorial authority by both legal and extraordinary means, aspiring to create a totalitarian state.
Mussolini remained in power until he was deposed by King Victor Emmanuel III in 1943 following a vote of no confidence by the Grand Council of Fascism. A few months later, he became the leader of the Italian Social Republic, a German puppet regime controlling just northern Italy. Mussolini held this post until his death in 1945.
With the proclamation of the Italian Republic in 1946, the office received constitutional recognition. The First Republic was dominated by the Christian Democracy (Democrazia Cristiana, DC) political party which was the senior party in each government coalitions from 1946 to 1994 while the opposition was led by the Italian Communist Party (PCI), the largest one in Western Europe.
In the first years of the Republic the governments were led by Alcide De Gasperi, a Christian Democratic politician who had been Prime Minister for seven years. De Gasperi is also considered a founding father of the European Union.
After the death of the De Gasperi, Italy returned in a period of political instability and lot of cabinets were formed in few decades. The second part of the 20th century was dominated by De Gasperi's protegé Giulio Andreotti, who was appointed Prime Minister seven times from 1972 to 1992.
From the late 1960s until the early 1980s, the country experienced the Years of Lead, a period characterised by economic crisis (especially after the 1973 oil crisis), widespread social conflicts and terrorist massacres carried out by opposing extremist groups, with the alleged involvement of United States and Soviet intelligence.The Years of Lead culminated in the assassination of the Christian Democrat leader Aldo Moro in 1978 and the Bologna railway station massacre in 1980, where 85 people died.
In the 1980s, for the first time since 1945 two governments were led by non-Christian Democrat Prime Ministers: one Republican (Giovanni Spadolini) and one Socialist (Bettino Craxi). However, the Christian Democrats remained the main government party. During Craxi's government, the economy recovered and Italy became the world's fifth largest industrial nation, gaining entry into the Group of Seven, but as a result of his spending policies the Italian national debt skyrocketed during the Craxi era, soon passing 100% of the GDP.
In the early 1990s, Italy faced significant challenges as voters—disenchanted with political paralysis, massive public debt and the extensive corruption system (known as Tangentopoli ) uncovered by the "Clean Hands" (mani pulite) investigation—demanded radical reforms. The scandals involved all major parties, but especially those in the government coalition: the Christian Democrats, who ruled for almost 50 years, underwent a severe crisis and eventually disbanded, splitting up into several factions. Moreover, the Communist Party was reorganised as a social democratic force, the Democratic Party of the Left.
In the midst of the mani pulite operation which shook political parties in 1994, media magnate Silvio Berlusconi, owner of three private TV channels, founded Forza Italia (Forward Italy) party and won the elections, becoming one of Italy's most important political and economic figures for the next decade. Berlusconi is also the longest serving Prime Minister in the history of the Italian Republic and third-longest serving in the whole history after Mussolini and Giolitti.
Ousted after a few months of government, Berlusconi returned to power in 2001, lost the 2006 general election five years later to Romano Prodi and his Union coalition, but he won the 2008 general election and was elected Prime Minister again for the third time in May 2008. In November 2011, Berlusconi lost his majority in the Chamber of Deputies and resigned. His successor Mario Monti formed a new government, composed by "technicians" and supported by both the center-left and the center-right. In April 2013 after the general election in February, the Vice Secretary of the Democratic Party (PD) Enrico Letta led a government composed by both center-left and the center-right.
On 22 February 2014, after tensions in the Democratic Party the PD's Secretary Matteo Renzi was sworn in as the new Prime Minister. Only 39 years old upon taking office, he became the youngest Prime Minister in Italian history. Renzi proposed several reforms, including a radical overhaul of the Senate, a new electoral law and the reduction of the costs of politics. A lot of analysts, journalists and politicians thought that these steps meant the end of the Second Republic and the beginning of the Third.However, the proposed reforms were rejected on 4 December 2016 by a referendum. Following the referendum's results, Renzi resigned and his Foreign Affairs Minister Paolo Gentiloni was appointed new Prime Minister. On 1 June 2018, Giuseppe Conte was sworn in as Prime Minister, at the head of a populist coalition formed by Five Star Movement and the League.
The politics of Italy are conducted through a parliamentary republic with a multi-party system. Italy has been a democratic republic since 2 June 1946, when the monarchy was abolished by popular referendum and a constituent assembly was elected to draft a constitution, which was promulgated on 1 January 1948.
Enrico De Nicola, was an Italian jurist, journalist, politician, and provisional Head of State of republican Italy from 1946 to 1948. Afterwards, he became the first President of Italy on 1 January 1948.
Benedetto "Bettino" Craxi was an Italian politician, leader of the Italian Socialist Party from 1976 to 1993 and Prime Minister of Italy from 1983 to 1987. He was the first member of the PSI to hold the office and the third Prime Minister from a socialist party. He led the third-longest government in the Italian Republic and he is considered one of the most powerful and prominent politicians of the so-called First Republic.
Giovanni Giolitti was an Italian statesman. He was the Prime Minister of Italy five times between 1892 and 1921. He is the second-longest serving Prime Minister in Italian history, after Benito Mussolini. He was a prominent leader of the Historical Left and the Liberal Union. Giolitti is widely considered one of the most powerful and important politicians in Italian history and, due to his dominant position in Italian politics, he was accused by critics of being a parliamentary dictator.
Amintore Fanfani was an Italian politician and the Prime Minister of Italy for five separate runs. He was one of the best-known Italian politicians after the Second World War, and a historical figure of the left-wing section of the Christian Democracy party; he is also considered to have been one of the founders of the Italian centre-left.
After World War II and the overthrow of Mussolini's fascist regime, Italy's history was dominated by the Christian Democracy political party for 48 years—from the 1946 election until the 1994 election—while the opposition was led by the Italian Communist Party (PCI).
Enrico Letta is an Italian politician who was Prime Minister of Italy from 2013 to 2014, leading a grand coalition comprising the centre-left Democratic Party, the centre-right People of Freedom, and the centrist Civic Choice. He has also been a Member of the Chamber of Deputies since 2006. Letta was Minister of European Affairs from 1998 to 1999 and Minister of Industry from 1999 to 2001, and served as Secretary to the Council of Ministers from 2006 to 2008.
The Italian Socialist Party was a socialist and later social-democratic political party in Italy. Founded in Genoa in 1892, the PSI dominated the Italian left until after World War II, when it was eclipsed in status by the Italian Communist Party. The Socialists came to special prominence in the 1980s, when their leader Bettino Craxi, who had severed the residual ties with the Soviet Union and re-branded the party as liberal-socialist, served as Prime Minister (1983–1987). The PSI was disbanded in 1994 as a result of the Tangentopoli scandals. Prior to World War I, future dictator Benito Mussolini was a member of the PSI.
Giovanni Gronchi, was a Christian Democratic Italian politician who became the third President of the Italian Republic in 1955, after Luigi Einaudi. His presidency lasted until 1962 and was marked by a controversial and failed attempt to bring about an “opening to the left” in Italian politics. He was reputed the real holder of the executive power in Italy from 1955 to 1962, backward the various Prime Ministers of this time.
Giorgio Napolitano, is an Italian politician who served as the 11th President of the Republic from 2006 to 2015, and the only Italian President to be reelected to the Presidency. Due to his monarchical style and his dominant position in Italian politics, critics often refer to him as Re Giorgio. He is the longest serving President in the history of the modern Italian Republic, which has been in existence since 1946.
The Grand Council of Fascism was the main body of Mussolini's Fascist government in Italy. A body which held and applied great power to control the institutions of government, it was created as a body of the National Fascist Party in 1923 and became a state body on 9 December 1928. The council usually met at the Palazzo Venezia, Rome, which was also the seat of head of the Italian government.
Angelino Alfano is an Italian politician served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 12 December 2016 to 1 June 2018.
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The Kingdom of Italy was a state which existed from 1861—when King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia was proclaimed King of Italy—until 1946—when a constitutional referendum led civil discontent to abandon the monarchy and form the modern Italian Republic. The state was founded as a result of the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which can be considered its legal predecessor state.
Events from the year 1922 in Italy.
The Left group, later called Historical Left by historians to distinguish it from the left-wing groups of the 20th century, was a liberal and reformist parliamentary group in Italy during the second half of the 19th century. The members of the Left were also known as Democrats or Ministerials. Differently by his Right counterpart, the Left was the result of coalition who represented Northern and Southern middle class, urban bourgeoisie, small businessmen, journalists and academics. It also supported a right to vote and the public school for all children. Moreover, the party was against the high taxation's policies promoted by the Right. Since the 1890s, the Left showed conservative tendencies, breaking strikes and protests and promoting a colonialist policy in Africa.
Maria Elena Boschi,, is an Italian politician and lawyer, member of the Democratic Party. From 22 February 2014 to 12 December 2016, Boschi has served as Minister for Constitutional Reforms and Relations with the Parliament, delegated to the implementation of the Government Programme in the government of Matteo Renzi. From 12 December 2016 until 1 June 2018 she was the Secretary of the Council of Ministers, in Paolo Gentiloni's cabinet; she is the first woman to hold this office. Among her supporters she is widely known with the acronym MEB.